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. german cardinal joseph ratzinger was 78 years old when he became pope in april 2005 following the death of pope john paul ii. he was the oldest person to become pontiff in 275 years. benedict xvi was a conservative pope, he strongly opposed to birth control, but he embraced new forms of communication and joined twitter last year. pope benedict faced a string of challenges during his term from sexual abuse scandals involving the members of the clergy to an investigation into money laundering in vatican city. a court convicted his former butler last year of stealing and leaking classified documents that pointed to corruption in the vatican. the pope pardoned him over christmas. it's rare for a pope to resign. pope benedict is the first to quit in nearly 600 years. senior members of the catholic church will now start planning their conclave, the meeting they hold to choose a successor. >>> police in the united states are investigating yet another case of gun violence. pop ben fikt benedict xvi will be one of the most religious thinkers of the age. >> the president says he has warm memories
's take a look back at his legacy. >> it was the new 19th of april, 2005, that joseph ratzinger became the first german pope in nearly 500 years. >> the cardinals have chosen me, a humble laborer in the lord's vineyard. i>> it was the life devoted to the church. he was born in a tiny village in upper bavaria. his family was devoted catholic. he studied theology and rose quickly through the ranks of the church. he became known for his humility and develop a large following. at world youth day in cologne, his mission was to unite faith with reason. the pope wanted to promote inter-faith the dialogue as the relationship became strained. he downgraded muslims with a controversial comment about islam in 2006. while he professed respect for jews, he created an uproar when he revoked the excommunication of rebel bishops, among them a conservative who denies the holocaust. perhaps his most testing time, allegations surfaced that catholic priests had sexually abused and raped children for decades and it was tolerated by church superiors. in 2011, he returned to germany and he told parliament th
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